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Short Stories




The Summer Man by K P William Cheng Surreal and susceptible. [446 words]
The Diary Of Walter Chan Part Two by K P William Cheng More Adventure and emotional troubles for the cute Chinese guy... the witty W... [8,649 words]
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An Unhealthy Case Of Paranoia by Glen Pearson After taking some acid, a night on the beers is the last thing Pete wants. Larry'... [2,668 words]
A Story About Music by Luis Carlos Silva/Lyn It's kind of a fairy tale. It compares the impressions whe have when we listen to music to ... [1,185 words]
The Sun Ray Hit His Eyes by K P William Cheng Marriage, obligation, deceit, homosexuality, the cruelty of seeing the truth... [2,462 words]
The Blindfold by Danny I. Spitler A couple decides to meet in an most unusual and erotic manner. [1,679 words]
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The Test by Crazy Clown My first publishing-worthy (at least I hope) short story, on the topic of what religion is, was, and w... [1,118 words]
The Steel Circle by Steven K Mitchell Combat unto death! [3,053 words]
The Slapper by Glen Pearson A geezer unflatteringly describes his encounter with a member of the opposite sex after having one ... [1,350 words]
The Sisters: Chaper 1 by R. Nonny This is a story I wrote that takes place in a medeival time period in another world. [743 words]
The Muse Keeps On by Crazy Clown A tale of the joys and sufferings of the muse... [1,006 words]
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Journey To Xzorath by Steven K Mitchell A dark Shaman finds what he seeks... [1,739 words]
Harbor Light Mission by Randy Guess Account of a night and morning spent at Salvation Army's Harbor Light Mission for men in H... [3,374 words]
Grim by Arcanum Weird. [442 words]
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Waiting... by Lawrence Peters - [249 words]
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Wormshither by Tony Seljuk a story of a boy and his love interest. typical fodder [456 words]
The Journal by John Christopher Cook - [3,980 words]
The Insane Ramblings Of A Complete Idiot by Crazy Clown An essay on the insane ramblings of a complete idiot. Written by a com... [1,090 words]
That's Ratings Suicide! by Tcn A satiric story done on one cynical night. [545 words]
Net
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Untitled by Mary Jo Javier - [250 words]
Unstable by Margaret Li A short story about domestic violence. [1,108 words]
Tidings Of Comfort And Joy by Kathleen May “Tidings of Comfort and Joy” explores the loneliness of early adolescence and the in... [2,477 words]
The Widower by Tony Seljuk An elderly man, bored with life so much to the point where his own filthy socks are intriguing, ta... [1,990 words]
The Tree House by Steven R. Kravsow When you're a kid growing up, there are always three rules you need to remember-- look both ways... [3,691 words]
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Reaping What You Sow by J W Wilson III - [4,031 words]
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Summers' End by John C Smith A true story about a local murder that became almost too local. [910 words]

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TITLE (EDIT)
Net
DESCRIPTION
Walking through the internet.
[1,486 words]
AUTHOR
Barbara Villarreal
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Married 13 years. Stay home mom of four living in the south. Homeschool my children during the mornings and write as much as they allow me to.
[December 1999]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
[email protected]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (1)
A Day In Dell (Short Stories) Old west setting... good vs evil. [1,969 words]
Net
Barbara Villarreal

Roaming through the earth’s atmosphere I appear to be alone. No one is with me. No one to hold me down. No one to hold me. I cry out as reality’s tail comes ‘round to bite me. Still no one comes and no one cares. I yell from the tallest tree for my companion but there isn’t one. No one. My soul mate has gone to some distant land. Forgotten, I stand waiting. I hold out my arms to the wind and nothing fills them except air. Why me? I say as I pound the clouds. Why am I alone? There is no answer as I wait. I should have some one. Some one should be here to confide in…to hold… to count on. There is no one.
Likes. Dislikes. Concerns. Happiness. Sadness. There should be someone that has the same as mine. I land beside a babbling brook. My singular reflection taunts me. It laughs at my loneliness’. A ripple erupts through the water. The mood changes to pity. I scoff at the compassion. I tell myself it is okay to be alone.
Pulling myself up I walk away with my head held high. The clouds drip on my head as they shed their sympathy. No one is there to give me shelter. No one is there to give me a sense of reason. My needs are not met. My desires go unattended. I lash out at those passing two by two. They laugh in a shameful tone. I need to hide myself from the pain. I go behind bushes. Identity denied. I wait.
Time passes without touching me. I peer out. I see a small house welcoming an old man. Crowds of people follow him. I look to see the baker, the clothes maker, the butcher, the travel agent, the weatherman, and several others all in a whisper. I move closer to hear their words. They continue in confusion. Questions arise among them.
“Why does he get brochures for far away places? He never goes any where.”
“Why does he buy so much food? He lives alone and there is never a car in front of his home.”
“Why does he ask the weather? He so seldom leaves his house.”
The questions continued and I listened until they were all gone. I walked quietly to the steps of the house. I saw a mouse run under the step. I pushed the doorbell but got no answer. I heard a party although I had seen no one arrive. I grew more curious in my waiting. Everything else was void. I had not one care in the world other than finding out the secrets of the old man.
Easing the door on its hinges I listened as it squeaked. One foot cautiously followed the other over the threshold. Devastated by my findings I stood with my mouth wide. I tried to take in my surroundings. I had never seen anything like it. It was otherworldly.
Tunnels going this way and that had millions of people of all ages, race, and religion traveling through them. After stuttering through several conversations I came across a teenage boy.
“What is this place?” was all I could manage.
“It is a place for all things.” He replied
I thought carefully and tried again.
“Where is the man of the house?”
“He could be anywhere. He could be doing most anything…with anyone.”
“I’m confused.” I said in frustration.
“Then you have come to the right place. Or maybe you have come to the wrong place.” The boy said as he tried to play a game.
“Please boy. I don’t understand. What you are trying to tell me? Where do these tunnels lead and where is the old man?” I demanded as I took him by the shoulders.
“You are not really here as he is not really there.” The boy said as he laughed.
Falling to the floor my face rested in my palms. Tears flowed down my cheeks. I felt a warm cheerfulness surround me. I was filled with sweetness and pleasant feelings. I looked to find the boy was gone. Replacing his space was a beautiful woman. She helped me to stand.
“I am a guide and I will try to answer your questions.” She said in a soothing voice. “There is no reason for fear here.”
We smiled at one another as I wiped the tears from my cheeks.
“I don’t understand this place.” I said.
“It is easy enough to explain. The tunnels are used to get anywhere you want to be from the core of the earth to any galaxy. We are hidden under a net of protection. Virtually coming together for information, safety, love, and desires not met. However, like the web of a spider, it is a trap that you will never get out of. You are here with us now and you will stay always.”
“What if I don’t want to stay?” I inquired.
“It is no longer your choice. Your need for the tunnels is great or you would not have come into the old mans house. The others do not need him so they have gone away without entering.”
I thought for a moment and then realized what she was saying. The need for my soul mate was so great I would do anything to have peace of mind.
“But what of the old man?”
“He is here for us all. Some come to him for protection. Others come for knowledge. Others come for guidance. While still others come to make love like they are not able to anywhere else.” She explained.
It was still hard to understand what all she was saying but I took her hand and let her lead me down one tunnel after another. My knowledge grew and I realized here would be the only place I could find my soul mate. I began to wonder what might be such a strong thing to bring the other people in. I asked questions of people passing by. They answered me as if they enjoyed my questions and my time.
“What brought you here?” was my main question. Their answers varied but I knew the reasons boiled down to one. They found something here they could find nowhere else.
One woman said she came for friendship. A mother came for adult conversation. Others were learning languages from around the world. A man said he came for gardening tips. A small unattractive man said he came to be in the company of beautiful women. I had to ponder that for a moment but everything else seemed so unreal I didn’t question it long. Many came for games of all kinds.
People were in the tunnels day and night. Some were buying while others were selling. Some just came to watch. I met people who were in search of lost children and parents. I passed several contest. At the end of one tunnel I saw bins full of mail.
“Be careful,” my guide warned. “That pile is junk mail. If you fall in it you could be lost forever.”
I veered away from the accumulation of waste.
“Where does this all end?” I questioned partly under my breath but loud enough for my guide to hear.
“There is no end. You will never know or see it all. It is added to daily.” She replied in her soft tone.
I shook my head at the thought of her statement.
“Then what’s the point of it all?” I asked disheartened.
“You still do not understand.” She shook her head as if her time had been for naught. “There is no point…it just is.”
“But if there is no point then why am I here? Why is anyone here?” I shouted.
She looked me over with great pity yet continued with her cool tone.
“We search for answers together. The precious soul mate you seek is not one person, as you perceive, rather a collection of souls for everything we crave.” A smile graced her face as she continued. “This place is filled with everything you will ever need. It is here for you to search. Open your mind and let yourself go and in so doing your desires may find you.”
With that she released a tender giggle. Her laughter was quickly gone as was she. I looked this way and that to no avail. She had disconnected from my space without leaving a forwarding address. Fear arose in my throat as I realized I had no guidance. However I quickly remembered her words, “there is no reason for fear here”. Questioning why I needn’t fear but then I thought about the search.
I searched for the guide, knowledge, and lost people of my life. I realized her words were true. I would find everything I craved in this place. No longer a victim of the babbling brook. My loneliness had disappeared. Encouraged, I searched, intertwined with a net of others, for the single soul mate the guide said I would not find.

 

READER'S REVIEWS (2)
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"Sandra Bullock was in the Net, so first off you'll need a title change, but the story itself is mint. It's an excellent example of turning metaphor into reality. I understand what you were trying to do by presenting the Internet, and saying that sitting alone at a computer terminal closes you off from the rest of the world, but contradictarily allows you to connect to the world. I can easily see how this story might be sequeled, and brought to a satisfying completion with a sequel. I'll call the sequel "Direct Interface" or how about "Falling Into Oblivion", about this woman's search, and about how words, pictures, etc. are put upon a screen, and gradually "fall off" the bottom of the screen. Just a thought." -- jerrygeorge51.
"Even reading this story a year later, I still think this is a great story, in desperate need of a different title. Have you considered any of the above that I offered?--The Advisor" -- JA St.George.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2000 Barbara Villarreal
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
October 2000
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1968
 

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